February 22-March 2, 2020
With Los Amigos del Arte Popular
On this journey, we explore the multiple ethnic communities of Oaxaca (and Guerrero) to learn of their cultural and ethnic expressions in dress and textiles. From the Amuzgo in Guerrero to the Mixtec, Huave, Zapotec in Oaxaca we will readily see how textile traditions and dress are a cultural passport and unique expression of the women (and some men) who live in this region. We will learn of the fibers, such as coyuche cotton and natural dye sources, such as Purpura Pansa, indigo and cochineal. This is an extraordinary close up journey into the communities where we meet the people and artisans who create visual masterpieces and maintain their cultural heritage. Join us!.
Early Arrival Day, Friday Feb. 21
Arrival Day: Sat. Feb. 22, Arrive Acapulco,
Hotel and Meals are not included in the price, but we’ll have a block of rooms at our hotel. We’ll enjoy a lovely group meal overlooking the famed Acapulco Bay.
Day 1: Sun, Feb. 23, Fuerte San Diego Acapulco, Transfer to Ometepec (B, L, D)
Before we transfer to our base for the Amuzgo region, Ometepec, Guerrero, we’ll visit the Fuerte San Diego Museum in Acapulco. Here, we’ll learn about the trans-Pacific trade of the Manila Galleons that lasted 250 years, plying trade from Manila to Acapulco and back. After our visit, we’ll transfer to Ometepec, stopping for lunch along the way. Upon arrival, we’ll relax in our hotel and enjoy dinner at a local taqueria!
Day 2: Mon, Feb. 24, Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero (B, L)
An amazing day awaits, as we travel to the mecca of Amuzgo weavers, Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero, where we meet the extraordinary weavers of the coop, Flor de Xochistlahuaca, formerly lead by master weaver and teacher to young women, Florentina Lopez. Here, the tradition remains alive, due to the dedication of these women to their art and heritage. We’ll see huipils (3 panels) and batas (2 panels) that are woven on backstrap looms, taking up to six months to produce. We’ll see the preparation of the beautiful native cottons, such as coyuche with carmel hues, and others with sage green hues. And, we’ll learn of their work and talent, using natural dyes. Overnight in Ometepec. (B, L)
Day 3: Tues, Feb. 25, Pinotepa de Don Luis and San Juan Colorado (B, L)
Today, once again, we travel to meet some of the most talented and inspiring weavers, spinners and dyers of the coastal Mixtec region of Oaxaca, known as the Costa Chica. In two communities, Pinotepa de Don Luis and San Juan Colorado, we learn of the traditional dress of the region, such as the pozahuanco wrap skirt of caracol purpura, indigo and “fuschina” stripes. We’ll see a lot of coyuchi cotton spinning and weaving in these communities! Overnight in Pinotepa Nacional.
A special treat is in store today, as we’ve timed our trip to coincide with the carnival celebrations on the coast of Oaxaca.
Day 4: Wed., Feb. 26, Huazolotitlan, Jamiltepec, Puerto Escondido (B, L)
Today we visit the communities of Huazolotitlan and Jamiltepec to meet with some of the best weavers and embroiderers of the region and to see how dress changes from one community to the next. Here, we will learn about the double-headed eagle iconography that is so representative in this region, and we will see a unique way the huipil is worn over the shoulder! Arriving in Puerto Escondido, we’ll relax at the hotel, before enjoying a lovely dinner overlooking the ocean. Overnight in Puerto Escondido.
Day 5: Thurs., Feb. 27, Free Day Puerto Escondido
Today is a day to relax by one of two pools at our charming hotel, or to go to the beach, or to town, to visit the market. Other excursions can be arranged, such as a trip to the lagoon of Manialtepec.
Day 6 Fri. Feb. 28 Huatulco, Caracol Purpura Demo (B, L)
Today is a day we have all anticipated. We’ll be met by our friends, the Mixtec dyers, to travel further down the coast to one of the first bays of the seven bays of Huatulco. We’ll travel to the beach, to board our lanchas that will take us to the cove where we will be so honored and privileged to see how nature and man work together to create this remarkable color purple. The Mixtec dyers have been traveling to the coast for thousands of years, to produce colored threads for weaving into the pozahuanco wrap skirt, worn by the Mixtec women of this region. We’ll observe how the sea mollusk is irritated, to produce a defensive fluid, that will later oxidize and turn purple. The mollusk is not harmed or killed, but rather, it is returned to the rock, to continue its natural life cycle. We’ll enjoy lunch on the beach, before going to Huatulco to Overnight.
Day 7 Fri. Feb 29, San Mateo del Mar, Tehuantepec (B, L)
Leaving Huatulco, we continue down the Oaxaca coast towards Salina Cruz, to the Huave community of weavers, San Mateo del Mar. While the women are Huave, they have adopted the dress of the Zapotec women of the Isthmus; the colorful huipil accompanied with a flowing, equally colorful skirt. Their traditional whimsical weaving designs of animals, fish, butterflies, can be seen on the runners, place mats and other utilitarian items they weave of cotton on backstrap looms. From here, we travel into the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to visit the Zapotec community, Tehuantepec. We will learn of the history of traje, or dress which is so emblematic of this region, making the women of Tehuantepec a favorite subject of artists and sculptors, such as Roberto Montenegro and Francisco Zuniga, and made popular by Frida Kahlo, who often was seen wearing beautiful traje brought to her by travelers to the region. We overnight in Tehuantepec.
Day 8: Sat, March 1, In the morning we visit the Market in Juchitan. And we visit Artisans! Overnight Tehuantepec
Day 9: Sunday, March 2, Transfer to Oaxaca, in the Eastern Valley, stopping in San Bartolo Yautepec, Arrive Oaxaca and Farewell Dinner!
Day 10: Monday, March 3, End of Trip or Extend a day in Oaxaca City.